FAQ categories

Questions about the program

What is the Small Business Ventilation Rebate?

The Victorian Government has committed $60 million to help public-facing small businesses improve their ventilation and reduce the risk of COVID-19 within their premises to improve customer confidence.

The Ventilation Rebate aims to support public-facing small businesses to undertake immediate minor actions such as purchasing equipment or hiring a qualified tradesperson to undertake minor services to improve ventilation in areas that are accessible to customers.

How much is the rebate?

The rebate is $500. A business as defined by its ABN can only claim one $500 rebate under this program.

Your business must spend at least $500 or more on eligible expenditure to receive the $500 rebate.

Can I also apply for a Small Business Ventilation Grant?

Yes, your business can apply to both streams of the program - the Small Business Ventilation Rebate and Ventilation Grant. Your business can submit applications to request funds for the same ventilation project, however the funds must not be allocated to the same eligible expenditure item. You should check your eligibility for both streams before applying.

Questions about eligibility

Who is eligible for the Ventilation Rebate?

To be eligible for a rebate your business must:

  • operate from a Victorian fixed address commercial premises that is physically open to the public for in-person purchases or use of the business’s products and services
  • hold an active Australian Business Number (ABN) and have held that ABN on, and from, 18 February 2022
  • be registered for Goods and Services Tax (GST) on, and from, 18 February 2022
  • have an annual Victorian payroll below $10 million for the 2020-21 financial year on an ungrouped basis, as determined by the State Revenue Office (SRO).
  • hold public liability insurance sufficient to cover its operations.

Tenants wishing to apply must ensure that they obtain any required consent from their landlord before undertaking work.

I am a landlord of a premises with a fixed address and my tenant is a public-facing business, can I apply for the Ventilation Rebates?

While the Small Business Ventilation Program is intended to support public-facing businesses, landlords of a fixed Victorian commercial premises or business owner operators at the fixed address can apply if they meet the eligibility criteria of the Ventilation Rebate.

I am a tenant of a commercial premises with a fixed Victorian address and my business is public-facing. Can I apply for the Ventilation Rebate?

Yes, tenants must obtain any required consent from their landlord before undertaking work.

Can I apply for Ventilation Rebate if I received a grant through another COVID-19 business support program?

Yes, you can apply for a Ventilation Rebate if you received a grant through another COVID-19 business support program.

Am I required to be registered for GST?

You must be registered for Goods and Services Tax (GST) on, and from, 18 February 2022 to be eligible for this program.

A business must register for GST when it has an annual turnover (gross income minus GST) of $75,000 or more.

Businesses that backdate their GST registration date will not be eligible.

Not-for-profit entities with annual turnover between $75,000 and $150,000, which are not registered for GST and are registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profit Commission are eligible to apply.

Businesses with an annual 2020-2021 turnover of $75,000 or more that are not required by relevant taxation legislation to be registered for GST are eligible to apply, subject to provision of a statutory declaration from a registered tax agent.

More information on whether you need to register for GST is available on the Australian Taxation Office website.

Questions about evidence and documentation

What is evidence of eligible expenditure?

The applicant must provide evidence of spending at least $500 on eligible project expenditure when submitting their application. The eligible expenditure items must have been purchased between 1 January 2022 and the date of application submission, but no later than 24 June 2022.

For eligible expenditure item/s purchased (from 1 January 2022), evidence includes:

  • an invoice or receipt paid in full clearly specifying the date, cost, supplier name and invoice number for an eligible expenditure item (i.e. air purifier). Tax invoices must clearly include the required information as described on the Australian Taxation Office website.

Which identification documents should I submit with my application?

The business owner or an authorised person for your business can apply for a rebate on behalf of your business. This individual must be listed on the Australian Business Register (ABR) as either the owner, co-owner, associate or authorised contact of your business.

To confirm the identity of the business owner or authorised person as listed on the ABR, one of the following current proof of identity documents must be provided:

  • a driver license or learner permit issued in any Australian jurisdiction
  • an Australian Passport
  • a Medicare Card
  • a foreign passport for those issued with an Australian Visa.

I’ve received notification that my identification check has returned an invalid result or could not be validated. How do I update my proof of identity?

Update your contact details by following the steps outlined in our Proof of Identity Verification User Guide.

Download a copy of these instructions: Updating Proof of Identity Details in Grant Hub forms (PDF 633.93 KB)PDF icon

How do I provide evidence that my business is public-facing?

You will be required to attest that your business operates from a Victorian fixed address commercial premises that is physically open to the public for in-person purchases or for the use of your business’s products and services.

The Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions (the Department) may also undertake further background checks to confirm your business is public-facing.

Do I need to provide evidence that my business has an annual Victorian payroll of below $10 million for the 2020-21 financial year?

You will be required to confirm that you have an annual Victorian payroll of below $10 million for the 2020-21 financial year on an ungrouped basis. The Department will check with the State Revenue Office (SRO).

Questions about the application process

Who can apply?

The business owner or an authorised person for that business can apply for a rebate on behalf of your business. The applicant must be listed on the Australian Business Register (ABR) as either the owner, co-owner, associate or authorised contact of your business.

Somebody else, such as an accountant, can apply on behalf of your business as long as they are listed on the ABR as an authorised contact for your business.

How do I apply?

Applications must be submitted online via the Small Business Ventilation Program – Ventilation Rebate page. To ensure timely assessment and payment all questions in the application need to be completed and requested information provided.

How are applications assessed?

Funding will be allocated through a grant application process on a first-in, first-served basis until the close date or available funds are fully allocated. whichever comes first.

Each application will be carefully considered and assessed against the eligibility criteria and program guidelines.

The following circumstances are considered when assessing applications:

  • any adverse findings by a government agency or local council regarding your business or its operation
  • your business is, or notice has been given that it will be, placed under external administration
  • a petition for bankruptcy or to wind up or deregister your company or business
  • your business is or becomes deregistered or unregistered (including cancellation or lapse in registration or any relevant permit).

Only final applications that are lodged with the Department will be considered and assessed. Applications in draft stage will not be considered.

The Department’s decision on all matters pertaining to the award of funding under this program is at the Department’s absolute discretion.

What is the status of my application?

The status of your application will appear in the Business Victoria Grants Portal as one of the following:

  • draft – you have started an application
  • submitted – you have accepted the terms and conditions and submitted
  • under assessment – your application has been received and is being assessed by the Business Victoria team
  • successful – your application was successful
  • unsuccessful – your application was unsuccessful.

From the time you submit your application, the Department will endeavour to provide you with notifications on the progress of your application.

Please note, we will not contact you while your application remains in ‘draft’ as we require your permission for the Department to use your contact details.

When will I be notified of an outcome?

We endeavour to process your application and notify you of its outcome within 20 business days of receiving a completed application.

For the purposes of this program, business days are Monday to Friday, excluding public holidays.

If somebody else applied on your behalf, they will be notified of the outcome of your application. If you submitted the application yourself, you will be notified directly.

It may take longer to notify you of an outcome if your application:

  • does not meet all the eligibility criteria
  • does not have correct evidence or documentation
  • requires you to make changes
  • is a duplicate application for the same business
  • has incorrect information, such as ABN or bank details (for successful applicants)
  • does not include current or accurate information registered with relevant regulators or partner agencies, such as the State Revenue Office or Australian Business Register.

My application was unsuccessful. Can I appeal this?

If your application was unsuccessful and you believe that it has been incorrectly assessed, you are able to lodge a complaint. More information on the complaints process and form can be found at https://business.vic.gov.au/contact-us/complaints.

Will I be subject to an audit?

Applicants may be subject to audit by the Victorian Government or its representatives for a period of one year from receipt of payment.

You are required to keep the evidence of how the rebate payment was spent.

If any information in the application is found to be false or misleading, or the rebate payment is not applied for the purposes of your business in accordance with the terms of funding as set out in the program guidelines and the application, the rebate payment will be repayable on demand.

Questions about rebate payments

How much is the rebate?

Successful applicants will receive a rebate of $500 for a minimum eligible project expenditure of $500.

An entity as defined by its ABN can only claim one $500 rebate under this program across all voucher rounds. Your business must spend at least $500 or more on eligible expenditure to receive the $500 rebate.

When and how will the rebate be paid to my business?

Once we advise you of your successful application, the rebate will be paid into the bank account you nominated on the application form. Depending on your bank, it may take up to five business days for the payment to reach your account.

How can I use the funds?

The rebate payment may contribute to eligible expenditure items purchased between 1 January 2022 and the date of application submission, but no later than 24 June 2022.

Expenditure is considered to be eligible if:

  • it is used on work to improve ventilation and air filtration to reduce the spread of COVID-19 for areas in commercial premises that are physically open to the public
  • the expenditure has been purchased and paid for in full between 1 January 2022 and Friday 24 June inclusive
  • the ventilation upgrade will lead to an improvement in one or more of the following types of air ventilation:
    • natural ventilation – that brings air from outside through and around an indoor occupied space, or to make airflow improvements to a covered outdoor space used by customers
    • mechanical ventilation – that uses mechanical equipment to increase airflow by replacing or diluting indoor air with outside air
    • augmented ventilation - that uses portable filtration units to catch particles in a filter to increase the clean air delivery rate and reduce the concentration of viral particles in the air.

Your business must comply with all relevant laws and obtain all planning, environmental, regulatory and other approvals and permits (as applicable) related to the improvements undertaken in connection with the rebate assistance, including meeting all relevant health and safety and building standards.

If your business is a tenant of the relevant premises, any necessary approvals from the landlord must be obtained.

What are examples of eligible expenditure items?

Natural ventilation

  • Works to the building to maximise ventilation, for example fixing windows to ensure they can open or adding additional windows or doors to increase air flow.

Mechanical ventilation

  • Purchase and installation of spare parts to ensure the existing ventilation system operates effectively.
  • Upgrading or replacing filters in a ventilation system, such as installing a HEPA filter capable of 4-6 air changes per hour (ACH).
  • Repairs, servicing or cleaning of an existing heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system or air conditioning unit.

Augmented ventilation

  • Purchasing an air purifier using a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter for the premises.

Other measures

  • Inspection by a qualified professional service provider for the purpose of a ventilation audit, HVAC health check or assistance with items identified in the self-assessment ventilation guidance,.
  • Whirlybirds or extractor fans to enhance the effects of other ventilation strategies.
  • Electric fans to promote air movement if there are existing ventilation strategies in place.
  • Wall mounted split systems and cassette units that do not have a function to bring fresh air into a space are only eligible if they are used in conjunction with other natural and mechanical ventilation.

How do I determine what ventilation improvements need to be made to my business premises?

For information on how to improve ventilation in the workplace visit the Victorian Government’s Ventilation guidance page and access the Small Business Ventilation Guide.

Read the Ventilation principles and strategies to reduce aerosol transmission for further information.This guidance is provided as information only and applicants are encouraged to seek professional advice on any ventilation improvements. Business owners must make their own judgement and take decisions about optimising air flow and ventilation that are appropriate for their business.

The Victorian Government is not responsible or liable for the purchasing decision of your business, nor any loss or damage whatsoever arising from or in connection with the purchase or works which are the subject of the rebate assistance.

When do I need to use the funds?

Evidence of purchase of eligible expenditure item/s of at least $500 must be submitted with the application.

The expenditure must have been purchased and paid for in full between 1 January 2022 and Friday 24 June inclusive.

Can I apply for funding for purchases made prior to the program launch date?

Yes, you can apply for a Ventilation Rebate for an eligible expenditure purchased prior to program launch, dating back to 1 January 2022. You must provide evidence (i.e. a dated invoice or receipt) of the purchase with your application form and the purchase must be an eligible expenditure item that meets the program guidelines.

Is the program funding capped?

Funding under this program is capped. Rebates will be issued on a first-in basis to applicants assessed as eligible until close or all program funds are fully allocated, whichever comes first.

Examples of rebate funding eligibility

Example

A small hairdressing salon in Melbourne is currently on a one-year lease. They meet the business eligibility criteria of the Ventilation Rebate. Their small premises is public-facing, with only one door for entry and exit and 2 windows on either side. All their haircuts are performed in one main space which accommodates 6 customers at any one time. Due to the nature of their business, it is difficult to keep the door open to improve natural ventilation inside their building.

After reviewing the Victorian Government’s ventilation guidance material and undertaking a self-assessment of their ventilation needs, the salon assesses that natural and mechanical ventilation cannot be improved in their premises. Therefore, the salon decides to improve their ‘augmented ventilation’ with the purchase of a portable air purifier that meets the specifications of their space. The salon will place the air purifier at the back of the room and away from open doors and windows, as indicated in the ventilation guidance material.

Outcome

The salon spends $800 on the air purifier and applies for the Victorian Government’s Ventilation Rebate. They supply a dated receipt of their $800 expenditure on the air purifier (which they purchased after 1 January 2022) and are found to meet the program eligibility criteria. They receive the $500 rebate under the program.

Examples of rebate funding ineligibility

Example

A public-facing café located in regional Victoria is on a two-year lease. They meet the business eligibility criteria of the Ventilation Rebate.

Their premises is located between 2 other stores in a popular shopping strip, with one door for entry and exit and a shared mechanical ventilation system. The business can fit up to 15 customers inside and 6 customers outside. The café decides to purchase an air-purifier to help improve the air purification inside their premises. The café spends $400 on an air purifier (which they purchased after 1 January 2022) and applies to the Ventilation Rebate. They upload their dated receipt as evidence of purchase of the air purifier.

Outcome

They are unsuccessful in receiving a rebate under the program as they did not spend at least $500 on eligible expenditure.

Example of both grant and rebate funding eligibility

Example

A public-facing restaurant in Melbourne that specialises in contemporary Australian cuisine meets the business eligibility criteria of the Ventilation Grant.

They own their premises, which can fit up to 50 people inside. The premises is located on the corner of a street with one entrance, 2 windows facing the main street, and 2 windows facing the side street.

The restaurant purchased two portable fans on 2 January 2022 to help with the air circulation inside their premises. On 12 April 2022, they apply for the Ventilation Rebate to cover the cost of the fans and are successful in receiving a $500 rebate for their $500 total spend on eligible expenditure.

The restaurant also applies to the Ventilation Grant with a ventilation project to audit and maintain their existing air conditioning system at an estimated cost of $3000.

Outcome

Their application is approved, and a claim form link is sent to the restaurant to upload the required evidence of eligible expenditure. The business hires a certified professional to undertake the audit and maintenance works of their air conditioning system after receiving their successful notification, which costs $2500 in total.

The restaurant uploads the required evidence using the claim form link including dated and paid in full invoices and receipts of eligible expenditure. The restaurant receives a $1250 grant in matched funds.